Six Whitley County, six Knox County and four Laurel County students have been selected to attend The Center for Rural Development’s 2019 Rogers Explorers youth leadership program.

The Center for Rural Development has selected Corbin Middle School students Grace Gibson, Kenton Lowe, and Kaiden Walden; Williamsburg Independent School student Robel Schwarz; Whitley County Middle School student Grant Zehr; and Micah Harrington, a student at Harrington Homeschool.

Knox County Middle School students Lauren McDonald, Emily Mills, Taylor Payne, Alex Smith and Brody Wells and Barbourville Middle School student Jaycee Rose were selected.

North Laurel Middle School students Raelyn Bradley, Cassidy Holcomb and Matthew Sanders and South Laurel Middle School student Emily Cox were chosen from Laurel County.

Rogers Explorers is open to eighth-grade students in Southern and Eastern Kentucky who have a strong interest in developing their skills in leadership, team building, community service, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields of study.

They will join 210 students where they will spend three days and two nights on a leading Kentucky college campus where experts guide them through hands-on assignments. The program is provided tuition-free to eligible students within The Center’s 45-county primary service area.

“Rogers Explorers gives students a one-of-a-kind learning experience to explore different career opportunities and possible career paths in some of today’s most challenging professions,” said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development. “The program encourages creative thinking and teamwork, builds leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and instills in students a commitment to service. Hosting the camps on college campuses also gives students a glimpse into higher education as they move forward.”

Rogers Explorers is presented by The Center for Rural Development in partnership with Lindsey Wilson College, University of the Cumberlands, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, Asbury University, the University of Pikeville, and Union College.

Gibson is the daughter of Keith and Susan Gibson; Lowe is the son of Steven and Kelly Lowe; and Walden is the daughter of Robert and Kim Walden, all of Corbin. Harrington is the son of Bernie Harrington and Jennifer Harrington; Schwarz is the son of Jeffrey Schwarz and Ann Schwarz, and Zehr is the son of Misti and Lloyd Zehr, all of Williamsburg.

Mills is the daughter of Jimmie Mills and Kelley Mills; Rose is the daughter of Jack Rose Jr. and Candace Rose; Smith is the son of Jason and Sharon Smith; and Wells is the son of Brent and Tabitha Wells, all of Barbourville. McDonald is the daughter of Brent and Christie McDonald of Gray. Payne is the daughter of K. Scott Payne and Angela K. Payne of Heidrick.

Cox is the daughter of Todd and Rhianna Cox; Holcomb is the daughter of Joel Holcomb and Amy Holcomb; Sanders is the son of Todd and Dawn Sanders, all of London; and Bradley is the daughter of Mandy Smith of East Bernstadt.

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